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“You’re a pretty girl. Show me your smile”

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We often feel naked even when we’re fully clothed

Me (calmly and friendly but firmly) to Random Man: Can I speak to you for a minute? I overheard your conversation with my friend and I want to let you know that you made her feel uncomfortable when you told her she was pretty and that you bet she had a pretty smile and you asked her to take off her mask and show you.

Random Man: Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to make anyone feel uncomfortable! I didn’t mean anything by it.

Me: I’m sure you didn’t mean it the way it was taken. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how saying things like that make women feel…

RM: I’m so embarrassed! I didn’t mean anything by it…I’m married. I’ve been married for years. I’m a Christian, I believe in monogamy. And some people are just more sensitive! I would never proposition someone, even a child, which what she is…

Me: Yes, I know but it’s important that you know how talk like this makes us feel and we are usually too afraid to let people know…This happened to me (gives personal example) and I was too afraid to say anything. So thank you for this opportunity to express this to you.

RM: Thank you for letting me know and for taking the time to speak to me…

Random Man drives away, tail between his legs, pride hurt.

Me feeling brave, triumphant, happy that I took this opportunity. Then wondering if I was just going for low hanging fruit because he seemed harmless enough, thinking I’m really not that brave. Then second-guessing myself. Then dismissing those thoughts and deciding to feel triumphant again, but mostly really glad that I became all Mama-Bear on this guy and hopefully he’ll think about the impact his sexist words and gestures make on women and that hopefully I’ve helped a brilliant and beautiful young woman find her own voice, become brave enough to confront/correct men who treat her like a child who they can say whatever they want to, and never again wish that she wasn’t pretty so she didn’t have to be susceptible to this crap again!

I hope he went home and told his wife and that she agreed with me. I hope he has a daughter who he can then think about being in the same position and see it from her side and think before he ever does this again.

And I hope you do too.

It started with a haircut

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Ever wonder why you became a hair stylist? You can’t find the right shoes to keep your feet from hurting after a long shift, all that training and it didn’t even include learning how to read people’s minds, having to listen to women who probably should be in a therapist’s office instead of in your chair. And now you have to wear a mask and wonder if you’ll get sick while you’re struggling to pay your bills, wondering if you’ll get enough clients now during a global pandemic.

While the glamour of hair salon life may have first attracted you, it is now for that woman that walks in hesitantly, anxious about getting a haircut. She lost her hairdresser eight years ago. He was her fiancé. The first time he touched her hair it felt magical.

That woman is me. It started with a haircut.

He invited me to sit in his comfy vintage barber chair, rich red worn leather and shiny chrome, a work of art in itself. His touch shot through my russet locks and went straight to my heart. Watching his adoring eyes in the reflection of the hand crafted wood-framed mirror as he cut my hair, I felt uninhibited, excited, alive.

He asked, “So what do you like to do?” I heard my flirty voice say “I like tequila!” And our threesome (with tequila) began. He adored me from the minute he laid eyes on me and I felt it every minute.

He was an artist, a sculptor, a craftsman. He could fix anything. He made the world a better place just by being in it. He made beautiful and intriguing things. He said hair was just another medium for him to sculpt in.

He had a wonderful smile and a twinkle in his eye. He was attentive and helpful, always ready to assist with his strong hands. Always helping someone carry something or fix something, or sharing his knowledge so someone else could accomplish what they desired. He encouraged me in so many ways.

An amazing soundtrack of cool music seemed to follow him. He would play me records and sing along. He filled the whole room, the whole world, with his wonderfulness!

And he cut my hair.

And he struggled with addiction and depression. And it won. He took his own life eight years ago.

There’s still a big gaping whole in the world, in my world, where he used to be.

Yesterday I walked into a new salon in desperate need of a haircut. I went to a friend I felt I could trust. And I could. She was warm and wonderful and caring. She seemed to know exactly what I needed. She made me feel good and strong and brave again.

With “just” a haircut.

“…a landscape painted by a mole…”

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“Realism, n. The art of depicting nature as it is seen by toads. The charm suffusing in a landscape painted by a mole, or a story written by a measuring-worm.” –Ambrose Bierce The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)

I was painting small things, toys left out, or caught out exploring. From the eye level of something or someone small…

Buttercup
Well, Hello Sailor…
M is for Mushroom
Roll Me Over
Amanita Muscaria

I’ve been wanting to paint cupcakes

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In process…

I’ve been wanting to paint cupcakes, and sock monkeys, and vintage pink princess telephones, and vintage diner ice cream signs….

This one might have to stay in my kitchen. I’ll paint you your very own? What flavor cupcake in your favorite? What color frosting do you like? Do you want a cherry on top? Do you want it in a foil cup? Do you want a vintage clown decoration stuck in it?

Don’t you think cupcake decorations should be little spoons that stick into the cupcake with a decoration on the end of the handle so you can eat cupcakes in public without messing up your lipstick?

#cupcakes #sockmonkeys #vintagesockmonkey #oiloncanvas #inthestudio #paintinginthetimeofcovid

Fight or Flight!

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In process

The fear and anxiety of this pandemic is activating that basic irrational human instinct of Fight or Flight. Instinctually we want to live and we want to feel safe and comfortable while we do it. For many people, when they feel intimidated they go into fight mode. See Karen refusing to wear a mask and having a tantrum in the grocery store.

For me it’s always Flight! Run! Get away and go hide someplace where I feel safe! Go to my happy place – go to Poppyland…

For the past couple of days I’ve been hiding in my studio, back to painting my friends, the sock monkeys. Now they are enjoying a huge buttery bowl of popcorn and watching a moving on their vintage Movector Super 16 projector.

#pandemic #fightorflight #inthestudio #workinprocess #wip #oiloncanvas #sockmonkeys #vintage #stilllife #popcorn

Scout and Lark

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Today Scout and Lark’s mom picked up the portraits I painted of them. She loved them! I’m so happy! This was such a fun commission. I think Lark liked her portrait too…

And what would you like for Christmas…

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It’s never too late to commission a custom painting for your loved one – a portrait of their favorite toy from when they were just a kid or a still life composed of a collection of heirlooms…

I can provide a gift certificate now for you to wrap and put under the tree and then we’ll discuss and customize the painting later.

Happy Holidays!

Stages…

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The stages of a canvas.

Over years.

 

 

jacket-kellyltaylor
The Jacket

A Glimpse

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Grief.

Sharp pain, almost crippling.

Waves.

Emptiness.

Ouch.

Here’s what I saw. Here’s what it looked like.

I’ve seen lots of paintings and artworks about grief, but I’ve yet to come across any that show it from the perspective of the grieving person – what their world looks like, what they see, a glimpse of grief through their eyes. So I began painting the clothing that he left behind.

Shortly after his death, I put all of his clothes only into the bedroom closet and closed the door – shirts stretched from his muscles, his favorite shoes worn and conformed to his feet, a long sleeved shirt with holes from when he was welding something, a leather jacket with a cigarette butt still in the pocket…I used to imagine that his clothes would somehow manifest him and the door would swing open, he would hop out with a big smile and say, “Here I’m am!”

But, of course, he never will

 

Pint-Sized Paintings

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Purchasing artwork can feel like quite a commitment sometimes. Frequently, I hear people say their walls are already full and they have no room for anything else.

These tiny trolls and other vintage toys will fit just about anywhere! At with a small price tag to match their size, they can easily appease your art impulse buying.